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Essential packages (Re: Debian on the Sharp Zaurus/SL-5xxx)

On Mon, Jun 17, 2002 at 05:04:14AM +1000, Glenn McGrath wrote:

> > Which packages or programs seem superfluous to you?
> > 
> > ncurses-base
> > ncurses-bin
> Are these just to support dselect, should dselect be essential ?

They are also required by bash and cfdisk.  I personally could do without

> > e2fsprogs
> not essential for people who dont have an ext2 (or 3?) filesystem

Contains fsck, which is used for all filesystems.  Also, at least one mkfs
needs to be essential, and if I had to choose one, it would be ext2.

> > perl-base
> just because :)

update-alternatives, dpkg-statoverride, install-info, dpkg-divert...

Yes, they could all be rewritten as shell scripts if someone was willing to
do the work, but they would forever be harder to maintain.  Worth the cost,
in my opinion.

> > diff
> diff comes in handy, but why is it essential ?

Presumably because it is called by dpkg.

> > bash
> A shell is essential, but why cant ash be used instead of bash, maybe it
> should be a virtual package.

Currently, there is no commitment to restrict essential functionality to
only minimal standard shell features.  #!/bin/bash scripts are legal
anywhere and everywhere.  The question of whether or not these scripts could
be easily rewritten with only POSIX features is left as an exercise for the

 - mdz

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